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The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Leicester)

Leicester Curve's revival of Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane proves to be a hit. Kieran Johnson reviews.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Michele Moran

Another Curve production of tremendous quality; this time in the form of The Beauty Queen of Leenane playing in the studio space. This turbulent tale of family, love and ultimately heartbreak is the perfect choice to compliment their autumn season.

Maureen (Michele Moran) and her mother (Nora Connolly) live in rural Ireland and their simple lives in Leenane are filled with hatred towards each other. It's difficult at times to determine if their rocky relationship is genuinely sour or if, indeed, they don't mean the harsh words they speak to each other. The pair flip between caring for one another and interacting with brothers Dooley (Andrew Macklin) and Pato (Stephen Hogan), who fill their lives with complications.

Moran is tremendous actress. From convincing us she is a loving, dedicated daughter who cares for her mother, to her disturbing and psychotic episodes, the fascinating twist of events are played by Moran with terrific conviction. Connolly is a convincing mother and her devious streak is played with the perfect amount of sweet and evil.

The four actors move across scenes without having much to worry about; Paul Kerryson's direction is simple and effective, allowing concentration to be focused on the quality of the performances. The set design by Juliet Shillingford gives a sombre feel to the play which fits perfectly. When rain starts to pour, the set is displayed not so simply as one would first assume.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane proves to be a harrowing tale of the two women and their tragic and confused lives. The cast carry the piece from strength to strength. The Beauty Queen of Leenane plays at Leicester's Curve until November 9.